Justice and Rusko
JUSTICE DROP THE BOMBAST, GO PASTORAL
French duo Justice became one of the last decade's most iconic electronic groups with their debut album, †, and a bombastic live show that made Daft Punk sweat a little under their helmets with the thought that their countrymen might overtake them in flamboyant presentation. Justice's funky, sledgehammering electro house hurtled at you with a panoply of distorted-to-hell high- and low-frequency noises. But with their latest full-length, Audio, Video, Disco, Justice (Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé) have dialed down the dense arrangements and thuggish beats and gone for a more pastoral, prog-rocky, melodic feel. Not that they're doing full-blown Genesis covers or anything (although I'm pretty sure "Civilization" bears a sample of Brian Eno's "Sky Saw"), but they definitely have veered away from their ultra-mega-machinic approach of †. It's a pretty bold move for a group that could've kept churning out more 'ead-bangin' club fodder. Paramount, 7 pm, $26.25 adv/$31.25 DOS, all ages.
RUSKO'S PUMPED-UP DUBSTEP, NOW WITH MORE CYPRESS HILL
We live in a time when a dubstep artist who isn't Skrillex can demand $40 ticket prices. While many OG dubstep aficionados cringe at the genre's frat-bro-propelled rise to popularity in America and its inevitable, ensuing dumbing down, this phenomenon starkly spotlights a shift in young music fans' aesthetics. For the first time in ages, rock's stranglehold on the youth demographic may be slipping. Plenty of young'uns seemingly would rather mosh to gargantuan bass drops than to hardcore punk riffage. Which is why an English bloke like Rusko is headlining Showbox Sodo in 2012. Progress? Debatable. Recording for Diplo's Mad Decent label, Rusko (aka Christopher Mercer, now based in LA) isn't a lowest common denominator producer, but he's also far from the original dubstep template of subtle, ominous stealth and avoidance of crowd-pleasing vocal cameos. On his 2010 album, O.M.G.!, Rusko thrust himself to the forefront of peak-time party-enabling dubsteppers. Now he's dabbling with light-footed drum 'n' bass on 2012's Songs and working with faded West Coast hiphop legends Cypress Hill on tracks like "Roll It, Light It" (you'll never guess what they're rapping about). Digital Mystikz and Kode9 no doubt are shaking their heads in disgust. With Sigma and Hyperfunk. Showbox Sodo, 7 pm, $38.50 adv/$43 DOS, 16+.